Re: Background Check: Examples follo
John Pannell (PANNELLJ@DELPHI.COM)
Wed, 26 Oct 1994 18:04:30 -0400
>Is that what we want? Because that is where we are heading!
>We have, in this country, a legal doctrine that states the the accused
>must br presumed innocent until "proven" guilty. Even though the
>principle still stands, there are now two areas, possibly more, where
>the presumtion of guilt, rather that innocence, is the norm. The
>two that come to mind are: Any dealings with the IRS. Any charges
>of child abuse or molestation.
>I am frightened, Scouter friends! Really frightened!
You're not the only frightened one here!
I am known for being somewhat of a cynic at times, but some wise man once
said that if you sacrifice freedom for security you soon find you have
little of either one. I have held off responding until I could get the
quote right (I believe it was either Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson) but I
could wait no longer.
On philosophical grounds, I am fundementally opposed to fingerprinting of
leaders. I find it an invasion of my privacy _and_ I don't think it will
help one whit to solve the problems at hand -- witness the numerous other
examples posted on this list. All it will do is make a bunch of "Liberals"
and BSA lawyers feel good. Children will be abused as before, lawsuits will
be brought as before, and nothing will be solved.
Fingerprinting for jobs in security sensitive areas is one thing. For
volunteer work (one hour a week!! *g*) -- ridiculous, incredulous,
unbelievable... Do we now also fingerprint Sunday School teachers?
teenaged babysitters? next door neighbors? grandparents? Anyone else who
interacts with children for non-career purposes? ...reductio ad absurdum?
Maybe, maybe not.
Personally, should this come to pass I will seriously consider whether I
want to stay involved in Scouting. Most likely I would leave, or severely
curtail my activities. It would hurt.
I do not relish the thought of giving up my right to privacy to pacify some
lawyer and demand for a phony solution to a real crisis just as I do not
relish the thought of having my life ruined due to a frivolous or fallacious
My freetime is valuable to me. I work with Scouting and Scouts because I
enjoy it. I believe in the program and derive pleasure from the good I am
able to bring into other's lives. Should the cost of this enjoyment become
intolerable, well, then it's time to work towards similar goals elsewhere.
John E. Pannell
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City